Vital Snags BB&T

Vital Processing Services (Vital), a leading, full-service merchant services provider, announced the signing of a multi-year merchant processing agreement with Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T Corporation.

Under terms of the agreement, BB&T will use Vital’s Authorization/Data Capture and Clearing and Settlement Services. BB&T will be converting its entire portfolio of 27,000 merchants to Vital’s back-end merchant processing system.

“Vital is pleased to offer an important bank such as BB&T complete merchant processing solutions,” said Fred Gumbel, CEO and president of Vital. “This valuable business partnership means that BB&T can now enjoy fully- integrated processing solutions, world class customer service and tremendous cost savings.”

“We selected the Vital platform over various processing platforms because Vital offers higher quality service, and its system functionality is superior to what we have today,” said Scott Qualls, senior vice president and manager of BB&T’s Revolving Credit Department.

BB&T (NYSE: BBK), a multi-bank holding company with $27.2 billion in assets, operates 485 banking offices in 256 cities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. BB&T is a full-service commercial and retail bank that also offers additional financial services, such as insurance, investments, leasing and trust. More information on BB&T is available at the bank’s Web site, .

Vital Processing Services (Vital) is a leading full-service merchant processing company. Its clients include financial institutions that provide credit card processing to their merchant customers. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Vital offers financial institutions operational services that enhance business solutions without competing for their merchant business. Its services include merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; operational fulfillment services (including the outsourcing of chargeback and retrieval processing); risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(R) U.S.A. and Total System Services, Inc.(R) (NYSE: TSS) (TSYS(R)) ( ). Vital’s Internet address is .

Vital On a Roll

Vital Processing Services announced Friday the signing of a significant long-term contract to convert U.S. Bancorp’s merchant portfolio to Vital’s POS authorization and data capture services. Over the next year, U.S. Bancorp with the concurrence of its customers will direct all of its authorization and capture traffic to Vital. These converted transactions, combined with U.S. Bancorp’s current Vital volume, translates to a processing forecast of 20 million transactions per month by the end of 1998 from U.S. Bancorp’s 90,000 merchants.

Paymentech Signs Wolfgang Puck

First USA Paymentech, Inc., a leading bankcard processor, has added two well-known restaurateurs to its growing list of hospitality merchants. Jerry’s Famous Deli and Wolfgang Puck Food Company have selected Paymentech as their new electronic payment solution for all of their locations across the country.

Paymentech will process point-of-sale (POS) authorization and capture transactions as well as settlement for approximately $48 million in annual credit card volume from 19 Wolfgang Puck locations and $21 million sales volume for 10 Jerry’s Famous Deli sites.

“Wolfgang Puck is a popular, expanding concept,” said Jeff C. Arnold, vice president of finance. “We looked for a new processor that would match our commitment to service by offering upgraded customer service and enhanced reporting options.”

“Jerry’s has highly impressed with Paymentech’s customer service,” said Christina L. Sterling, chief financial officer of Jerry’s Famous Deli. “They understand the restaurant business. In fact, Paymentech has developed a full range of services that specifically focus on the restaurant industry.”

According to Gary T. Staub, Paymentech’s group executive for business development, the hospitality market has become a significant niche for the full-service payment processor. “We have added point-of-sale (POS) applications for this market as well as increased our range of customer service activities. We also continue to expand our relationships with POS hardware value-added resellers.”

At the topof Paymentech’s menu of products that offer benefits of particular interest to restaurateurs is an enhanced version of SE Workstation. This product was developed in partnership by American Express and Paymentech.

SE Workstation is the first PC-based application that enables merchants to electronically access both American Express and bankcard financial reporting. The Windows-based program allows merchants to receive and respond on-line to cardholder inquiries. Adding bankcard data access improves a restaurant’s ability to quickly handle chargeback issues.

Headquartered in Studio City, California, Jerry’s Famous Deli operates 10 upscale casual dining locations including such well known sites as Hollywood and Costa Mesa, California, and Miami Beach, Florida. The restaurant features a 700-plus item menu in a high-energy Broadway theater environment.

Wolfgang Puck Food Company, L.P., based in Santa Monica, California, operates 13 Wolfgang Puck Cafes, four Wolfgang Puck Express units and two ObaChines, with another ObaChine scheduled to open October in Phoenix, Arizona.

First USA Paymentech, Inc., founded in 1985, provides full-service electronic payment solutions, processing approximately 392 million total transactions in the June 1997 quarter. As the third largest processor of bankcard transactions in the United States, Paymentech processed approximately $41.3 billion in bankcard sales volume during fiscal year 1997. Paymentech also issues commercial card products to businesses and other entities, and provides commercial card payment and information processing.

Vital Signs First Premier

Today, at the ABA Bank Card Conference, Vital Processing Services (Vital) announced it has teamed with First PREMIER Bank of Sioux Falls, S.D., to provide a full range of merchant card processing solutions through its Portfolio Management and Merchant Point of Sale services. The agreement enables First PREMIER to access Vital’s full offering of services, from point-of-sale processing through the complete payment cycle.

Under the service agreement with Vital, First PREMIER will convert its merchant portfolio to Vital and will outsource all services, including front- end, back-end and back-office. The back-office, which is marketed by Vital under Operational Fulfillment Services (including the outsourcing of chargeback and retrieval resolution, customer service, data entry, transaction risk management and paper draft capture) was recently developed, and is the latest service addition to Vital, completing its full-service, turn-key product line.

Portfolio Management Services give acquiring banks all the tools needed to manage their merchant portfolio. The Vital product and service line truly offers a complete, front-to-back package, including merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; and Operational Fulfillment Services.

From a simple fax to a state-of-the-art electronic bulletin board or the Internet, Vital provides multiple methods for acquirers and merchants to access information needed to effectively manage their businesses.

“We are excited about having First PREMIER as a full-service, turn-key client because the bank has been so aggressive in the past in managing and growing its merchant portfolio,” said Fred Gumbel, president and CEO of Vital. “We’re looking forward to the institution’s success in the marketplace.”

“We could not have found a better fit than Vital,” said Miles Beacom, president of First PREMIER Bank’s Credit Card Division. “Vital’s commitment to provide leading-edge technology and high service levels will help enable the bank to successfully grow its portfolio. We want to be at the forefront of the market with Vital because they don’t compete with us for our merchant business.”

First PREMIER Bank, with current assets at $303 million, serves six eastern South Dakota communities with locations in Sioux Falls, Watertown, Castlewood, Kranzburg, Lake Norden and Wakonda. The bank has more than 350 employees. First Premier’s capital ratio is 8.60 percent. First PREMIER’s Credit Card Division, established in 1989, has grown from 88 employees in January 1996 to more than 200.

Vital Processing Services (Vital) is a leading full-service merchant processing company. Its clients include financial institutions that provide credit card processing to their merchant customers. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Vital offers financial institutions operational services that enhance business solutions without competing for their merchant business. Its services include merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; operational fulfillment services (including the outsourcing of chargeback and retrieval processing); risk management; and customer service. Vital’s Internet address is .

Vital Processing Services is a joint venture between Total System Services, Inc.(NYSE: TSS) (TSYS(R)) and Visa(R) U.S.A.

Moneta Arrives

A new service that enables banks to use the Internet to provide merchants with real-time access to bankcard payment information was introduced yesterday by First Data Merchant Services. ‘Moneta’ offers merchants secure access to card sales, funding, chargeback information and statements/reports. Merchants may also analyze the data online. T he new service uses a fully bank-branded web site and offers banks cross-selling opportunities via a link from ‘Moneta’ to the bank’s own web site.

VISANet LAN for Hall of Fame

Vital Processing Services (Vital) and KeyBank announce the installation of the VisaNet Merchant LAN (Local Area Network) Service for the Baseball Hall of Fame to speed merchant card transaction processing. The installation is producing immediate savings by decreasing the number of dedicated phone lines needed for credit card sale approvals from 12 to one at the POS (point of sale).

![][1] What makes the speed and single-line service possible is the VisaNet Merchant LAN Service, which delivers state-of-the-art dial LAN technology to financial institutions and their merchants. The LAN platform processes rapid authorization responses from Hypercom dial terminals across a widespread merchant LAN. The service uses the Hypercom Stack M as a “central cashier” or authorization controller.

“Vital continues to focus on helping our clients provide the best and most appropriate POS technology to their merchant customers. We are proud of this announcement because it is a prime example of how Vital delivers ideal merchant processing solutions for this market,” said Fred Gumbel, president and CEO of Vital.

Vital, KeyBank and HyperCom completed the POS installation at the Baseball Hall of Fame just before summer, its peak season. During its summertime peak, Hall of Fame visitors spend more money on admission and museum shop items than at any other time of the year.

“We selected KeyBank based on its ability to provide us with Vital’s high speed LAN Service,” said Ken Meifert, manager of retail accounting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. “KeyBank also provides us with competitive prices and extraordinary customer service, two elements instrumental to the success of the Hall of Fame.”

“Customers from across the nation visit the Hall of Fame to experience first-hand the historic tradition of baseball,” said David Campbell, executive vice president of KeyBank’s Payment Services Group. “KeyBank is proud to provide the Hall with a fast, convenient credit card processing system that allows its customers to spend more time enjoying the museum.”

Vital Processing Services (Vital) is a full-service merchant processing company. It’s clients include financial institutions that provide credit card processing to their merchant customers. Vital offers financial institutions operational services that enhance business solutions without competing for their merchant business. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Vital’s services include merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing and reporting; operational fulfillment services (including chargeback and retrieval processing); risk management and customer service.

KeyCorp. (NYSE: KEY), headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the largest bank-based financial services companies in the nation with assets of approximately $70 billion at June 30, 1997. Through three principal lines of business — corporate banking, consumer finance and community banking — the Cleveland-based company provides retail and wholesale banking, investment, financing, and money management services across the United States.

KeyBank Merchant Services has more than 76,000 merchant locations and is one of the nation’s top 10 providers of merchant services. In 1996, KeyBank processed $7.4 billion of credit card transactions.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on the American culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to baseball.

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